BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian said yesterday that he will recommend to the Department of Public Works and Highways the dredging of the Malogo River and other major water tributaries, following the flashfloods that hit three cities and a town in the 3rd district of Negros Occidental, that affected more than 15,000 families.
Caelian said he noted heavy siltation in major rivers and creeks in urban areas, aside from their being clogged by garbage.
Regional DPWH officials and the Office of Civil Defense in Western Visayas are arriving on Jan. 8 to inspect and assess the areas affected by the flooding, Caelian also said.
He stressed the need to dredge the Malogo, Bago, Himogaan, and Ilog-Hilabangan rivers.
“There is a need to clear waterways to prevent future flooding,” Caelian said, stressing the importance of a hydrologic study to find out the state of waterways in Negros Occidental.
He also said he will coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to look into the possibility that quarrying along major rivers may have contributed to the New Year’s Day flooding.
The Talisay City DRRMO reported yesterday that 16 barangays were hit by flashfloods that affected 4,593 families, destroyed 19 houses, and damaged 59 others. Rip-rapping projects at Bangga Dose and Brgy. Zone 3 in the city were also damaged.
Caelian said that extending financial assistance to owners of houses destroyed and damaged will have to be decided on by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.
Relief operations were also ongoing, as of yesterday, in EB Magalona, spearheaded by Rep. Francisco Benitez, Mayor Marvin Malacon, and other town officials. Hardest hit were 17 barangays of Victorias City with 8,976 families affected, 706 families in 13 barangays of Silay City, and 1,260 families in six barangays of EB Magalona.*